More infants born extremely preterm (EPT) are surviving, but major neonatal morbidities are consistently high. This study examined the impact of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), brain injuries and severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) on adolescents who were born EPT.
We focused on EPT infants born at 23-25 weeks at the Swedish university hospitals in Uppsala and Umeå from January 1992 to December 1998. The poor outcome data covered 140/142 who survived to 36 weeks and the chronic conditions data reported by parents covered 132/134 still alive at 10-15 years.
Of the 140 survivors at 36 weeks, 29 (21%) had poor outcomes: 8/140 (6%) died and 21/132 (16%) adolescent survivors had severe neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD). BPD, severe ROP and, or, brain injuries correlated independently with poor outcome. Of those adolescents who were free from BPD, brain injury and severe ROP, 6% had a severe NDD. The corresponding rates with any one, any two, or all three neonatal morbidities, were 21%, 33% and 67% respectively. BPD and brain injuries were associated with high rates of chronic conditions at 10-15 years of age resulting in functional limitations.
In adolescents EPT survivors BPD and brain injuries were associated with high rates of chronic conditions and special healthcare needs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.